If you read any of my previous posts, you might have gotten a sense of my excitement for learning Chinese. In some ways, Chinese is actually less difficult than French or German. Instead of spending a week learning the irregular ways to modify a verb and say something in the past perfect or future perfect tense, you instead just learn a verb and apply the right words to modify it into those different tenses. But if you are now thinking learning Chinese is a cake walk, let me tell you about this conversation I overheard today between a student and his teacher:
Peng Bo (Paul): Wooo Zai Shi Jie Yin Hang
Laoshi (teacher): ?
Peng Bo: Wo Zai Shi Jie Ying Hang!
Peng Bo: Ah! Wo Zai Shi Jie Ying Hang Gongzuo.
Laoshi: Good, but what is Shi Jie Yin Hang?
Peng Bo: World Bank!
Laoshi: Ah, OK. But say Shi Jie Yin Hang...
Seriously, a word for lesson 1 and we still can't pronounce it in a way that the teacher will actually know what we mean if we use it out of context.
Oh dear, wish us luck!